Flying the flag
With prices improving and the media coverage of ‘Horsegate’ receding, the pig industry will be joining with other farming interests in promoting the ‘traceability’ of its products.UK pig prices broke through the 160p per kg barrier during May, having advanced around 10p per kg since March, bringing market returns close to the average cost of production. This was in marked contrast to price developments across the EU, where prices faltered. The return of more clement weather will hopefully encourage Europe’s pork aficionados, somewhat belatedly, to fire up the barbecues for this summer.
As the frenetic media interest in ‘Horsegate’ appeared to subside, British farming interests set about promoting their products as the ‘default position’ to all those who had concerns about the provenance and quality standards involved in producing their food.
BPEX announced details of a June campaign, using TV advertising on Channel 4 supported by other activity on social media. Once again, TV star Jimmy Doherty will be used to front up the 'Give a fork about your pork' theme, stressing the robust traceability offered by British pig meat.
Assured Food Standards announced a ‘banner campaign, making 'Trust the Tractor' banners available for display in their fields. This activity will lead to further marketing initiatives later in the year.
The NFU will also be running a '#buybritish' campaign, also making banners available to participating farms and also focusing on the traceability offered via British farm assurance schemes.
Farmers Weekly launched a campaign, entitled 'Get Better, Get British' to highlight the business case for NHS hospitals using fresh British produce and making a 20% saving over equivalent ‘imported produce’.
As part of their campaign to highlight ‘low’ pig welfare standards in indoor production, Compassion in World Farming took over a digital screen in the Westfield Shopping Centre in London recently, to stage a 'Really Live Feed'. Twice daily, shoppers were able to use smartphones to activate a feed machine on a farm in Buckinghamshire, which then scattered apples and other feed to the pigs outdoors – see this video.